United Food and Commercial Workers Local 653 continues daily picketing at the sites of two former Fresh Seasons grocery stores in Minnetonka and Victoria.
The union also has launched a website — tomwartman.info — detailing their campaign seeking justice from Tom Wartman, former Fresh Seasons owner and now landlord to two new non-union grocery stores which have opened at the old Fresh Seasons locations.
Altogether, the union says, Wartman owes $1 million dollars to workers who haven’t been paid earned vacation and holiday wages and to the union’s pension fund.
The new stores which Local 653 is picketing are Glen Lake’s Market, 14400 Excelsior Blvd. in Minnetonka, and Victoria’s Market, 7999 Victoria Drive in Victoria.
“There’s no question it’s having an impact,” said Matt Utecht, Local 653 president.
Utecht said the union also sent a mailing presenting the workers’ side of the dispute to 50,000 homes near the two stores, which has prompted favorable response. “People don’t like the idea of a rich guy stiffing hard-working people,” he said.